Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Newsletter #399



An interesting psychological aspect of simuls stems from the power of the simul-giver. There are so many details of simuls that are at the discretion of the ‘masters,’from how quickly they walk the circle, to whether they give players some extra time when they arrive at a board in which a player is not ready to move to how many passes they allow beyond the usual three. All these powers make it very tempting to change behavior once concerned about a particular position. If you’re doing well, it’s easy to be patient as people contemplate their moves, give them passes, or even offer occasional helpful suggestions. But once you sense danger, you just want to race back to the problematic board, hope your opponent moves quickly and makes an error in his haste and nervousness. Michael Khodarkovsky told me a story about how Korchnoi, upon landing in a bad position during simuls, would go back to the board he was unhappy with before completing the full circle, loudly tap his knuckles on the table, and growl at his opponents to hurry up and move. Whenever I play simuls and get a position I’m not satisfied with, I make a conscious effort not to alter my behavior to reflect my position. I try to remember that no matter how much I want to win, a simul is really about creating an experience for the person playing against you; the experience of playing against a strong opponent, getting a fair chance to beat or draw them, and coming out of it feeling that the person you played is a good representative for the game.  

IM Irina Krush – May 2008 Chess Life Online

Grandmaster-elect Josh Friedel will give a free talk next Tuesday, June 3 from 5:15pm to 6:15pm at the Mechanics'. His lecture will cover how he earned his last GM norm at the US Championship and tied for fourth in the strong Chicago Open.  Don't miss this chance to hear one of America's brightest young stars.

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News
2) Akobian, Nakamura and Petrosian tie for first in Chicago
3) More Games from Calgary
4) Berkeley Open
5) Upcoming Events

1) Mechanics' Institute Chess Club News

The Summer Tuesday Night Marathon started last night. Top seeds are WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs and NM Albert Rich. It is still possible to enter this eight round event with a half point bye for round one. The TNM series is both USCF and FIDE rated.

The Mechanics Institute will be holding two chess camps this summer. Anthony Corrales will teach the beginner/ intermediate session from July 14-18 with GM-elect Josh Friedel in charge of the advanced camp from July 21-25. Go to for more information.


Book and equipment donations to the Mechanics' are always welcome. All donations to the Mechanics' are tax deductible due to the M.I.'s 501(c) (3) nonprofit status. If you have any chess books or equipment that have been lying around unused for some time consider donating to the Mechanics'. You will not only get a tax write off but also the satisfaction of seeing things put to good use.

2) Akobian, Nakamura and Petrosian tie for first in Chicago

Grandmasters Varuzhan Akobian (first in the playoff), Hikaru Nakamura and Tigran Petrosian tied for first with 5.5 from 7 in the Chicago Open held over Memorial Day Weekend at the Westin Hotel in Wheeling, Illinois. Among those sharing fourth at 5 points and having excellent tournaments were former Mechanics’ Institute Grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky and MI member Josh Friedel. The latter appears to have gained the necessary rating points to go over 2500 FIDE and with his third GM norm in the US Championship seems destined to receive his Grandmaster title at the next FIDE PB meeting.

3) More Games from Calgary

Kaminski,Victor (2285) - Donaldson,John (2518) [B34]

Calgary International (2), 2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nxc6

7.Be2 0–0 8.0–0 d5 is the idea behind the Accelerated - ...d7-d5 in one go instead of ...d7-d6-d5 as in the Dragon. To combat the advance ...d5 White needs to put a pawn or Bishop on c4 or try the text. 

 7...bxc6 8.e5

Trading on c6 is usually not dangerous for Black in the Sicilian but the text is what makes it possible - Black must sacrifice a pawn or lose time with his Knight. 


Both Fischer and Kasparov, each playing against computers (!), preferred this move to 8...Nd5.

9.Bd4 f6 10.f4 Qa5 11.Qe2

The pawn sac 11.Qd2 has also been tried.

11...fxe5 12.Bxe5 Nf6 13.0–0–0

Another possibility is 13.Qc4 trying to stop Black from castling. After  13...Qb6 14.0–0–0 d5 15.Qa4 0–0 16.Bd4 play was equal in  Ulibin-Serper, Tbilisi 1989.

The great Accelerated Dragon Expert Sergei Tiviakov chose to prevent White's next move with13...d5 (14.Qe1 0–0 15.Be2 Rf7 16.Bf3 Bf5 17.a3 Qb6 18.h3 Raf8 19.g4 Bc8 20.Na4 Qb5 21.Be2= Volokitin-Tiviakov, Copenhagen 2002, but has more recently preferred to castle and retain the option of ...d7-d6.


14.Bd4 is the main line getting out of the way of ...d6 - 14...d5 (14...e6 15.a3 Nh5 16.g3 Bxd4 17.Rxd4 d5 18.Bh3 Ng7 19.Qe5± Martinez,R -Tiviakov, Bratto 2007.) 15.Qe1 Rb8 (15...Rf7 16.a3 Nh5 17.Bxg7 Nxg7 18.Bd3 Rb8 19.Qe5 Rb7 20.Rhf1=  Kurnosov-Tiviakov, Krasnoyarsk 2003.) 16.a3 Rb7 17.Nb1 Qxe1 18.Rxe1= Kovchan-Vokarev, Swidnica 1999.


14...Kh8 15.Bd3?


The text looks natural but now White's lost of control on the d-file should be decisive. Better is 15.Be2 d6 16.Qxc6 Rb8 17.Bd4 Qb4 18.Nb1 Bf5 19.a3 Rfc8 20.axb4 Rxc6 21.Bc3 Rxb4 22.Bf3= Szoen -Fedorov, Warsaw 2005.; 15.h4?! is too ambitious. 15...d6 16.h5 dxe5 17.h6 Bxh6 18.Rxh6 Rb8 19.fxe5 (19.Re1 Qb6 20.Nd1 Ng4) 19...Ng4.

15...d6 16.Bd4

The difference between Be2 and Bd3 becomes clear - Black's picks up an important tempo: 16.Qxc6 Rb8 17.Bd4 Rb4 18.Be3 Bd7 with a decisive initiative.


The immediate 16...c5 is met by 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 (17...exf6 18.f5) 18.Nd5.


17.Ne2 was relatively best to clear c3 for the Bishop as in the game, but without allowing Black some decisive blows.


17...Rb4 18.Qc3 Qa4! the move Victor and I missed 19.Bxf6 Rxf6 with a winning position for Black who is attacking f4 and e4 with b2 a target as well.

18.Bc3  Qb6?

 A serious mistake. Victor and I both were under the illusion that 18...Nxe4 led to a draw after 19.Bxa5 Bxb2+ but in fact Black's wins with the following pretty sequence: 20.Kb1 Bd4+ 21.Kc1 (21.Qb3 Rxb3+ 22.axb3 Nf2) 21...Be3+ 22.Bd2 Bxd2+ 23.Rxd2 Rb1+!

19.Nxf6 Bxf6 20.Rde1!

Well played as the natural  20.Rhe1 runs into 20...d5! when White is in trouble: 21.Qxd5 Bxc3 22.bxc3 Bg4 23.Be2 (23.Qe5+ Rf6 24.Qxe7 Re6) 23...Qb2+ 24.Kd2 Rbd8.



 20...d5 21.Qxd5 Bxc3 22.bxc3 is now okay for White.


21.Bxf6+ Rxf6 22.Qc3 Kg7 23.a3


23.g4 Qb4 was Black's idea.




23...d5 24.Qe5 c4 leads to a draw after 25.g4 cxd3 26.g5 d2+ 27.Kxd2 Qf2+ 28.Kd1 Qf3+ 29.Re2 Qxh1+ 30.Kd2 Kg8 31.gxf6 Qg1 32.Qxb8 Qd4+


24.Rhf1 d5 25.Qe5


 Getting low on time White steers for a slightly better ending. 25...Qxe5 26.fxe5 Rf7 Black wants the choice of where to put his King and ...Rfb7 is an idea.


27.Rxf7+ Kxf7 28.Rf1+ Ke7 29.c3 Bd7 30.Rf4 Bb5


This gets rid of Black's problem child. The Rook and not the Bishop ending is what Black should be seeking.


31.Bxb5 Rxb5 32.Rh4 h5 33.g4 Kf7 34.gxh5 gxh5 35.Rf4+


35.Rxh5 Kg6 allows Black's King too much activity.


 35...Kg7 36.Rf6 Rb6 37.Kc2 ½–½


After 37...c4 neither side can do anything constructive.


 Donaldson,John (2518) - Haessel,Dale (2235) [D76]

Calgary International (3) 17.05.2008


1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.d4 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.0–0 Nb6 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.e3 Re8 10.d5 Na5 11.Nd4 Bd7 12.e4 c6 13.Bf4 cxd5 14.exd5 Rc8 15.Re1

White's other option is 15.Rc1. The text envisions placing the Rooks on d1 and e1 but the Knight on c3 is less protected. 

15...Nbc4 16.b3 Qb6

I remembered P.H. Nielsen-Carlsen, Germany 2005, where White won brilliantly after  16...Nb2 17.Qd2 Nac4 18.bxc4 Nxc4 19.Qd3 Nb2 20.Qe3 Nc4 21.Qe4! f5 22.Qd3 Nb2 23.Qd2 Nc4 24.Qd1! Nb2 25.Qb3! Bxd4 26.d6+ (This is the point!) 26...e6 (26...Kg7 27.Qxb2 Bxc3 28.Be5++-) 27.Nd5!.

17.Nce2 Ne5

This hasn't been played before but Dale, who is always exceptionally well-prepared, said it had been suggested. Usually the Knight goes to d6 so I my thought was that White should be better here as the Knight looks loose. It turns out things are not so simple.

18.Qd2 Red8 19.h3

19.Rad1 is also possible but I wanted to take away g4 from Black's pieces.


This is Black's plan. He wants to dissolve the pawn on d5 to bring his Knight on a5 back into the game.




During the game I was kicking myself for not inserting  20.Bg5 with the idea of forcing ...f6 and then retreating to e3 but both Fritz 10 and Rybka think Black should sacrifice the exchange with 20...exd5 21.Bxd8 Rxd8 with reasonable play.

20...Qa6 21.Bh6


21.Rad1 looks more consistent. One important line is 21...exd5 22.Nc3 Be6 23.f4 Nec6 24.Nxe6 fxe6 25.Bf1 Bxc3 26.Qxc3 d4 27.Qc5 d3 28.Bd2 and White has a very dangerous initiative.

21...Bh8 22.Nc3?

22.Bg5! Re8 (22...f6 23.Bh6) 23.dxe6 Bxe6 24.Nxe6 Rxe6 25.Rac1 was the right continuation with a clear advantage for White.

 22...Nd3 23.dxe6??

Although the text is tricky it should meet with a simple refutation. 23.Bf1 is objectively better with a slight edge for Black.

23...Bxe6 24.Nxe6 fxe6

And not 24...Bxc3?? 25.Nxd8 Bxd2 26.Re8#

 25.Nd5 exd5? 


25...Nxe1 26.Rxe1 Bc3! which we both missed was a clean win.; 25...Rxd5 fails to 26.Bxd5 exd5 27.Rad1 Bc3 28.Qg5 Qc6 29.Rxd3 Bxe1 30.Qe7


Now the fun starts.


26...Kf7 27.Rxh8 Rxh8 28.Bxd5+ is not advisable for Black.

27.Bxd5+ Re6 28.Qxd3 Rce8?

This innocent move throws away Black's winning chances were still very much in the cards after 28...Kf7!

 29.Qxa6 bxa6 30.Rc1 

Black for the moment has an extra Rook but his pieces are completely tied up and the Knight on a5 is falling.

30...Kf7 31.Rc5 Nb7 32.Bxb7

With a pawn for the exchange and Black having doubled a-pawns as targets White is no longer worse and can play without risk. Unfortunately for Dale his old Achilles heel, time pressure, which has which has already influenced play the past few moves, becomes even more acute as he plays on not much more than the increment of 30 seconds each move.

32...Bd4 33.Rc4 Rd6 34.Bf3 Re7 35.Kg2 Bg7 36.Bf4 Be5 37.Be3 Rd3 38.Ra4 Bb8 39.Be4 Rd1 40.Kf3 Re6 41.Ke2 Rd7 42.Bd3 Kg7 43.Bc4 Red6 44.Bxa6 Re7 45.Bc4 h5?

 Things were already difficult but creating a weakness on g6 spells the end.

46.h4 Rdd7 47.Kf3 Rd8 48.Ra6 Rf8+ 49.Kg2 Rd7 50.Be2 Re7 51.Bd3 1–0

4) Berkeley Open


Bay Area players don’t miss the Berkeley Open this weekend!

Berkeley Open
May 31- June 1, 2008 Berkeley California
A Four Round Swiss System Tournament in Six Sections
Sponsored by the Berkeley Chess School
Open $300-150-100 Expert $200-100-75
A $200-100-75 B $200-100-75
C $200-100-75 D/E/Unr $200-100-75; Unrated Trophy
Prize fund based on 90 entries not counting discounted unrated entries.
Registration: Sat 9:00-9:45 am
Sets and boards provided. Please bring clocks. USCF membership required.
Rounds: Sat 10:00 – 3:30 ; Sun 10:00 – 3:30
1/2 pt byes: One half point bye available for any round (rounds 3 or 4 must be requested
before round 1).
Time Control: 30/90 followed by Game/60
Ratings: May supplement and Director’s discretion will be used to place players as
accurately as possible.
Entry Fee: Postmarked by 5/24: $45. On site: $50. Players may play up one section for $10
fee.. Two or more sections for an additional $45 Unrated $20 in the D/E section
or may play in Open the for regular fee. Unrated players in the D/E section
eligible for a trophy prize only.
Discounts: $2 Discount to Berkeley Chess Club members or to CalChess Members.
One discount per player.
Location: Hillside School; 1581 Le Roy Ave, Berkeley, California.
Map -
Information: Richard Koepcke 650-224-4938: Email:
Name: _______________________________________ Entry Fee $________
Address: _____________________________________ Play up 1 section ($10) ________
City/State/Zip: ________________________________ USCF renewal ($41) ________
Section: ____________ Phone#: ( ) CalChess /BCC disc (-$2) _______
Rating: _____________ 1/2 pt bye Rd: 1 2 3 4 Total $________
USCF ID: _________________
Make checks payable to Richard Koepcke, P.O. Box 1432, Mountain View, Ca 94042
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